South America's World Cup qualifying competition continues Friday, with Brazil facing Venezuela in Sao Paulo to cap the third round of matches.
Brazil enters a point behind Argentina, but with a game in hand, after opening with victories over Bolivia and Peru. Venezuela is at the bottom of the table with no points after losses to Colombia and Paraguay. Brazil has a commanding 21-2-3 record in the all-time meetings between the two nations, last losing in a 2008 friendly. Brazil and Venezuela last met in the group stage of Copa America 2019, which ended in a scoreless draw.
How to Watch:
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: None in the USA
Live Stream: You can stream the match and all South American World Cup qualifiers via Fanatiz, a pay-per-view service. Sign up for a free trial here.
Brazil XI: Ederson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Renan Lodi; Allan, Douglas Luiz, Everton Ribeiro; Richarlison, Gabriel Jesús, Firmino
Venezeula XI: Faríñez; Rosales, Osorio, Ángel, Feltscher; Moreno, Rincón, Casseres; Machís, Rondón, Soteldo.
Brazil carries injury concerns into the match. Neymar and forward Philippe Coutinho are expected to miss the match through injury, while there are concerns over the status of Casemiro, Fabinho and Rodrigo Caio. Defender Eder Militao is out with COVID-19.
“When you have a team that is playing many matches together and then you lose some parts there could be a lack of balance,” Brazil defender Thiago Silva said. “But that is no excuse, we have to show our mindset to prove our value, prove why we play for Brazil.”
On the plus side for the Brazilians, striker Gabriel Jesus and goalkeeper Alisson, who missed the first two qualifiers because of injuries, will return.
With the next World Cup qualifiers not scheduled until March, both sides will look to take positive momentum from the final two of the year. Brazil closes the window facing Uruguay next week, while Venezuela will host Chile.